13 April 2016
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will deploy a P-3K2 Orion aircraft and up to 38 personnel to take part in air and maritime exercises in Southeast Asia over the next three weeks.
“We look forward to engaging with our Southeast Asian partners and strengthening our defence cooperation through these joint training activities,” said Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.
“Our participation provides an opportunity to enhance our ability to operate alongside partner-nations in Southeast Asia as our people will be conducting operations in a multi-national environment. It also reflects our long-term engagement in the region.”
The training and engagement activities will be held in the South China Sea, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and the Philippines. The first of these activities is Exercise Bersama Shield 2016, a Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) activity involving Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
“The exercise involves planning and conducting air and maritime operations in the South China Sea and mainland Malaysia in a simulated multi-threat environment for the defence of Malaysia and Singapore,” MAJGEN Gall said.
“The NZDF commitment to the FPDA is strong and our ability to operate alongside FPDA partner-nations is critical to successfully providing security in the Southeast Asian region.”
Formed in 1971, the FPDA is one of the longstanding multilateral arrangements in Southeast Asia.
Exercise Bersama Shield, which takes place from 17-29 April, is hosted by Malaysia. It involves more than 2000 personnel, four ships and around 50 aircraft from the FPDA member-nations.
Following Bersama Shield, the Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion and supporting contingent have joint engagement activities with the Philippine Air Force.
The NZDF will also take part in the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism exercise in Brunei and Singapore from 2-10 May. The ADMM-Plus exercise involves the ASEAN countries plus Australia, China, Japan, India, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States. The aim of the exercise is to promote practical military cooperation between member nations and enhance their ability to operate jointly when responding to maritime threats.
For further information, please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980